Friday, April 19, 2024

What Can Cause Heart Attacks

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Treatment Of A Heart Attack May Include The Use Of Medications Like:

What Causes a Heart Attack?
  • Aspirin The 911 operator may instruct you take aspirin immediately to reduce blood clotting.
  • Thrombolytics Often referred to as clotbusters, these medications help to dissolve the blood clot that is blocking blood flow.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors ACE inhibitors expand your blood vessels and allow blood to flow more easily.
  • Beta blockers These decrease the hearts workload, help relieve chest pain, and treat irregular heartbeats.
  • Statins Statins help to lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the chances of a future heart attack or stroke.

Alcohol And The Gastrointestinal Tract

Alcohol is an irritant to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract , and this causes inflammation . Inflammation is the process the body uses to recruit cells from the bloodstream to heal damage.

In the short term, inflammation helps heal, but chronic alcohol consumption causes chronic inflammation, which is damaging tissue and has been shown to lead to different types of cancers, autoimmune disease or cell death. While the death of a few cells is not a big deal chronic inflammation makes it harder for them to replenish. The ultimate consequence is the essential nutrients do not absorb well and a person can become nutrient deficient. Malnutrition has been shown to contribute to heart disease and heart attack.

Can You Prevent A Heart Attack

You can lower your risk of a heart attack by changing behaviors that can raise your risks or treating any known coronary artery disease. Healthy lifestyle changes, including heart-healthy eating, staying active, quitting smoking, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight, can help prevent heart disease. Even if you already have coronary artery disease, these changes can lower your risk of a heart attack.

It is also important for you to get treatment for other health conditions that raise your risk of a heart attack. Talk to your doctor about whether taking aspirin can help you prevent blood clots that can lead to a heart attack.

Research for your health

Learn about current and future NHLBI research to advance treatment and improve our scientific understanding of the causes of heart attacks. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIs broader commitment to advancing scientific discovery for heart and vascular diseases.

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Can I Prevent Having A Heart Attack

In general, there are many things that you can do that may prevent a heart attack. However, some factors beyond your control especially your family history can still lead to a heart attack despite your best efforts. Still, reducing your risk can postpone when you have a heart attack and reduce the severity if you have one.

Q If I Am On Medication To Treat Heart Disease Does That Mean I Am No Longer At Risk Of A Heart Attack

Some of these factors increasing your risk for heart disease are rather ...
  • No, this means you are working towards lowering your risk of future heart attacks. Having said that, some of the causes resulting in heart attacks may be hereditary or genetic. Heart attacks in these instances can still occur. It is best to speak with your doctor on what you can to minimise the risk as much as possible.
  • Read Also: Can Menopause Cause Heart Palpitations

    Q How Is Smoking Related To A Heart Attack

  • Most smokers get a heart attack which is directly related to their smoking habit. The nicotine consumed during smoking causes many health issues which include-
    • Lack of oxygen supply to the heart
    • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
    • Clotting of blood.
    • Damage to cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels.

    Diet And High Blood Pressure

    The advice on eating a healthy, balanced diet also applies if you have high blood pressure. In addition, cut down on the amount of salt in your food.

    Salt raises blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. You should aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day thats around 1 teaspoonful.

    Find out how to cut down on salt.

    Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre such as wholegrain rice, bread, pasta and plenty of fruit and vegetables has been proven to help lower blood pressure. Fruit and vegetables also contain vital vitamins and minerals and help keep your body healthy.

    You should aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

    Find out more about getting your 5 A Day.

    Recommended Reading: What Is A Typical Resting Heart Rate

    Q Does Your Body Warn You Before A Heart Attack

  • As with men, womens most common heart attack symptom is chest pain . But sometimes women experience some of the common symptoms like nausea, vomiting, back or jaw pain. Dont wait to get help if you experience any of the following heart attack warning signs.
    • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, pain or discomfort in the chest.
    • Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Cold sweat or lightheadedness.

    What Are The Differences Of Heart Disease Symptoms In Women

    What Happens During A Heart Attack? – What is Coronary Heart Disease?

    Women and men are equally likely to present with chest pain, pressure or discomfort.

    However, women are more likely to have other associated symptoms including:

    • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
    • Shortness of breath
    • Lightheadedness or dizziness
    • Unusual fatigue

    Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you experience chest pain with the symptoms mentioned above, don’t wait until it is too late. It’s important to call 911 right away.

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    Women’s Health: Can Holiday Stress Lead To A Heart Attack

    It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos that accompany the holiday season each year. For some women, their busy lives become even more hectic, as additional shopping, cooking and spending combine to add even more anxiety. The result can be overwhelming. In addition, women often ignore the symptoms of heart disease and put the health needs of friends and family before their own.

    Take a moment to view this American Heart Association video about what may seem like a typical morning family routine:

    This portrayal may seem a little over the top, but many people take pride in being able to accomplish a multitude of tasks and trying to be everything to everyone. However, this can negatively affect physical and mental health, especially if one’s personal health is ignored.

    Heart disease is the No. 1 killer for men and women. More women die of heart disease than of breast cancer. Taking care of heart health is important, and that includes avoiding risk factors or behaviors that lead to heart disease, recognizing symptoms of heart disease and seeking treatment for heart disease.

    Walking For Heart Health

    Try walking to stay active. The Heart Foundation has community walking groups all over Australia you can join. Walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can:

    • Lower our risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes .
    • Manage weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
    • Reduce our risk of some cancers.
    • Maintain bone density â reducing risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
    • Improve balance and coordination â reducing your risk of falls and other injuries.

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    Unmodifiable Heart Disease Risk Factors

    There are certain other risk factors for developing heart disease that you cannot change.

    • Age – Your risk of heart disease increases as you grow older. Around 80% of deaths due to heart disease occur in people over 65.
    • Gender – Men have a higher risk of heart attack than women. This difference narrows after the age of 65. However, it is worth noting that heart attacks tend to be more severe in women than men.
    • Heredity – Cardiovascular disease tends to run in families. If your parents or siblings had heart or circulatory problems at a younger age , then you are at a higher risk compared to someone without a family history. Many of the risk factors of heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, can be passed down from parents to children.
    • Ethnicity – Some types of heart diseases are more common among certain ethnic and racial groups. African Americans are at greater risk of heart disease than Caucasians.

    While some risk factors are out of your hands, like your age, gender, race, and genetic factors, there is a lot you can do to prevent heart disease and stroke. The good news is that many of these same lifestyle changes will also reduce your risk of other serious chronic health conditions. Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking, and reduce stress to lower your risk of heart disease.

    What Are The Different Medical Terms For A Heart Attack

    Heart Attack Causes

    Acute coronary syndrome : An umbrella term for situations where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. Learn more about ACS.

    STEMI: A common name for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage in a coronary artery.

    NSTEMI: A non-ST-elevated myocardial infarction, a type of heart attack in which an artery is partially blocked and severely reduces blood flow.

    Myocardial infarction : The damaging or death of an area of the heart muscle resulting from a blocked blood supply to that area. Its also the medical term for a heart attack.

    Coronary thrombosis: Formation of a clot in one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. Also called coronary occlusion.

    Coronary occlusion: An obstruction of a coronary artery that hinders blood flow to some part of the heart muscle. Coronary occlusion is a cause of heart attack.

    Read Also: How Low Should Your Heart Rate Be When Sleeping

    Being Overweight And Cardiovascular Disease Risk

    Being overweight or obese increases your risk of a number of health problems, including:

    Carrying extra weight around your middle is more of a health risk, so it is especially important for you to lose weight if this is the case.

    To achieve a healthy body weight, balance the energy coming into your body through food and drinks, with the energy being used up by your body through regular physical activity.

    Heart Disease And Stroke Risk Factors

    There is no single cause for CVD, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of a heart attack or stroke. There are modifiable factors and non-modifiable factors .

    Heart disease and stroke risk factors that you can change include:

    Social isolation and lack of social support are risk factors for CVD that can be changed, although it can seem challenging. One way to help with loneliness is to learn how to improve your social connections.

    Risk factors you canât change include increasing age, being male, being post-menopausal and having a family history of CVD. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also at increased risk of CVD.

    The good news is that you can reduce your overall risk of developing CVD by leading a healthy lifestyle and taking medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

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    In My Own Words: Heart Health For Myself And My Family

    Sandra Driggers is a nurse at Mayo Clinic in Florida who works in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. This is her heart health story.

    I struggled with my weight for most of my life. I never really gave a lot of thought to being healthy , or about how my weight and lifestyle played a role in my future health.But a little over 16 years ago, I had a heart attack.

    Back then, at age 39, I never once thought about my risk for heart disease or a heart attack. I always thought heart issues were an older persons issue, and more of a mans concern. Definitely not a problem for a woman, especially not a young mom like myself.

    It was 2005, and my sons were 6 and 12 at the time. Days were busy because I homeschooled them, did housework and generally, tried to do everything for everyone. Eventually, I started to notice I was having pain in my left arm anytime I would get stressed or exert myself in any way.

    I kept telling myself that I had pulled a muscle. In the back of my mind, though, I was scared of the possibility that it could be something else. I wondered if it could be my heart. But, again, I was a young woman, so I convinced myself that those things do not happen to us.

    Even as I would sit in my bathroom with an automated blood pressure cuff taking my pressure over and over again, watching it go higher, I’d tell myself that I was much too young for anything to happen to me.

    For over a decade, I maintained. But old habits are hard to break.

    Q What Happens During A Heart Attack

    What causes a heart attack?
  • The heart needs a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Blood vessels known as coronary arteries surround the heart muscle and supply it with oxygen blood. A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery becomes suddenly blocked and stops the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
  • After the heart attack treatment, do not think that the problem is dealt with. A heart attack is merely a symptom of an underlying heart health problem like coronary artery disease .
  • Read Also: How Do You Find Your Maximum Heart Rate

    How Does Smoking Marijuana Affect Cardiovascular Health

    Even though all the health implications that come from cannabis use havent been fully researched, an article in the Harvard Heart letter gives an elaborate review of how cannabis affects cardiovascular health. Scientists have discovered that marijuana use in people who have established heart disease may experience chest pain, a higher risk of atrial fibrillation or ischemic stroke, an increased heart rate that results in dilating blood vessels which make the heart pump harder, as well as increasing the risk of heart attacks.

    On the other hand, an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states that more than two million Americans that have a history of heart disease have used or currently use cannabis. So, can the use of marijuana worsen their heart problems?

    Since cannabis is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance that has no medical use by the Drug Enforcement Agency , there arent that many studies that focus on researching it and uncovering all its potential. For that reason, the American Heart Association published a study reviewing the use of recreational cannabis and possible cardiovascular health effects and suggested that the DEA remove the Schedule I substance classification.

    What Else Can You Do To Boost Your Heart Health

    Reducing stress is not the only measure for boosting your hearts health and cutting your risk of a heart attack. You can take other measures to bolster your heart health and overall well-being. These steps include:

    • Exercise. This is mentioned twice because its that important. Exercise reduces levels of cortisol. It also releases endorphins hormones that combat stress, boost heart health, and increase circulation throughout the body. .
    • Take a nap. A healthy sleep routine is important to reducing stress levels and combating the effects of stress, but a nap can play an immediate role in boosting heart health. During a nap, cortisol levels fall, which erases some of the stress youre experiencing.
    • Eat better. A balanced, heart-healthy diet consists of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins , and whole grains. These nutrient-rich foods can improve cholesterol levels and help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels.
    • Get vaccinated. Diseases like COVID-19 put people with heart disease or heart health issues at greater risk of complications and death. Getting vaccinated helps reduce the risk of an infection, and if you do test positive, the vaccine can help lower the risk of serious complications.
    • Try medication. If youre still experiencing too much stress, talk with a doctor. Certain prescription medications can help reduce the impact of anxiety on your body, including your heart. Some drugs can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack.

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    Alcohol And The Vasculature System

    A person who drinks alcohol heavily will likely have abnormal cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a normal and healthy part of the blood, but they can malfunction. Cholesterol is large molecules that carry lipids to various parts of the body, and lipids are used to construct the membranes of cells.

    When there are too many lipids , they scratch the inner membranes of the veins and arteries, which causes mechanical damage, and different cells are recruited in the blood to help repair the damage.

    However, since blood is designed to clot when it repairs the damage, it can mistakenly build a clot on the inside of the vasculature system. If this clot continues to build, it can break off and travel to the veins that feed oxygen to the heart. If the clot gets lodged there, the oxygen supply feeding the blood cells is cut off, causing a heart attack.

    Do Women Fare Better Or Worse Than Men After A Heart Attack

    Facts about Heart Diseases

    Younger women under age 45 have a better outcome than men of a similar age. Scientists believe this is because of estrogen’s heart-protective effects. However, after menopause ends the protective benefits of estrogen, women fare worse than men. More specifically:

    • Women between the ages of 45 and 65 who’ve had a heart attack are more likely to die within a year of the event compared with men of this same age.
    • Women over age 65 are more likely to die within weeks of their heart attack than men over age 65.

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